Thanks to technology, one of the most tedious and intrusive elements of the event marketer’s toolbox is getting a much-needed upgrade. Yep, you guessed it—data collection techniques are going from (let’s be frank) miserable to memorable as high-tech tools are disguising the quest for personal information in unique and interactive ways. Here, five ways to use technology to make lead gen more fun—for everyone.
Biometrics. Finger and palm print scanners, retinal readers and even smell-o-vision are all good ways to uniquely identify a specific person, and usually most thought of in terms of the security of Bond villains’ vaults. Not anymore. Verizon rolled out a thumbprint scanner for its Powerhouse activation during the Super Bowl in New York City’s Bryant Park, and technologists are working on facial recognition and, yes, smell-specific identification is in the works, too. (Bet you didn’t know your stink was just yours.) Now, there are privacy concerns here, but it’s pretty simple to not keep the actual print. You just translate it into a unique identifier or code and attach the consumer’s info to that. That’s what Verizon did and all anyone said was how cool it was. And nobody blinked an eye about giving up some data.
RFID. Just because you have seen it a thousand times doesn’t mean that every consumer has, and when he or she gets to swipe that wristband or ID badge and see an immediate effect as part of an interactive exhibit, the cool factor still plays. The key to RFID now: make the vehicle for the RFID chip a clever one, like a customized wristband, a cool key fob or something besides a simple badge folks have definitely seen before. Don’t overlook this simple, and effective method for activity tracking and profile building for lead generation.
Bluetooth Beacons. Just as the name implies, a beacon is a device that pings transmissions to the Bluetooth-enabled phones of nearby consumers, enabling them to receive offers or calls to action, send personal information and more—all in the moment and in geographically-relevant fashion. Apple’s iBeacon was among the first in the market. Qualcomm’s new Gimbal beacon is a similar device. And PayPal’s beacon can identify and authenticate PayPal users when they enter an event and then enable them to pay with only verbal confirmation at checkout. It’s a great way to tap into existing data with mere “permission” versus taking the time to create a data “submission.”
Geofencing. This is all the rage in 2014—versatile and invisible if done right, so there’s a huge wow factor there for unsuspecting consumers. A geofence is essentially an invisible net cast over an area of an event that uses GPS and other technology to communicate attendee behaviors to whomever is tracking them and to customize and communicate with them in real time. As consumers walk a footprint or event space and realize that the environment is molding itself to their actions and preferences, your event will suddenly be the coolest thing they’ve ever done. For the full scoop on how geofencing works and how best to use it, check out the article.
Full Technology Integration. This is the real coup de grâce, if you’ve got the stomach for it. Combinations of all of the technologies above will have the greatest effect in terms of making data collection a painless and, dare we say, more memorable part of the experience your brand needs to create. An RFID bracelet that communicates with a geofencing system that ties to an online profile and tells you what movies your consumers watched and what beers they drink, and anything else you can think of, makes for a delicious folio of information. And you wanna get a taste.
The 2014 Event Measurement Report